A Japanese plane in use
A Japanese cooper using a yariganna or spear-plane
A yariganna or spear-plane in the Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum, Kobe

The Japanese plane or kanna () is a plane pulled towards the user rather than pushed in the manner of western style planes. They are made of hardwood, usually Japanese white or red oak. The laminated steel and iron blade is stout compared to western planes. Tapered in length and thickness, the plane blade is its own wedge, as it fits into a correspondingly-shaped mortice in the body of the plane, thus dispensing the need for a separate wedge to hold the blade in place, as is the case in most other traditional wooden planes. The chip breaker is held in place with a simple nail inserted some distance away from and perpendicular to the axis of the main blade. The chip breaker is not tapered like the main blade; instead, it has bent "ears" that bear down on the plane blade. Chip breakers in Japan were introduced relatively recently, during the Meiji period. The soles of Japanese planes also have different configurations for varying applications. The apparently simple design disguises a great deal of complexity.[1]


The name changes from kanna to ganna are due to rendaku.

See also


  1. ^ Understanding Japanese Planes in Wood Workers Institute